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Old 07-06-2007, 07:44 PM   #1
fatbloke
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Default Barshacks Ginger Mead ???

Ok, so following the recipe (obtained via links from Homebrewer_99) I made a batch last weekend.

So it's now due for racking into a carbouy for "proper" fermentation.

This racking process, would normally be to remove the finished product from the lees, but in this case I'm presuming that this wouldn't happen.

So is it just rack it over into the carbour for the ferment i.e. just syphon it over with some of the yeast lees or am I supposed to try to remove as much of the lees as possible?

Or should I be giving it a stir to remix the yeast or something like that??

I need the advice as the initial ferment of 7 days is nearly up and as we're off "up north" (land of rain, whippets, flat caps, black pudding and rugby league) on Sunday. Hence I need to get it into the carbouy to finish off the ferment.

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Old 07-06-2007, 11:55 PM   #2
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Just like beer you try to leave as much yeast behind as you can in the primary. You don't want to stir the yeast back in. Make sure most of the fermentation is complete before racking.

Incidently, I made another batch of BGM (dang close to BMC) last week also.

I used the EXACT same yeast that I got from the BGM I made in January 06! It was stored that long.

Since the honey was all fermented out I didn't even wash it. I just poured it into a couple of clear bottles and they've been in the fridge ever since.


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Old 07-07-2007, 08:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Just like beer you try to leave as much yeast behind as you can in the primary. You don't want to stir the yeast back in. Make sure most of the fermentation is complete before racking.

Incidently, I made another batch of BGM (dang close to BMC) last week also.

I used the EXACT same yeast that I got from the BGM I made in January 06! It was stored that long.

Since the honey was all fermented out I didn't even wash it. I just poured it into a couple of clear bottles and they've been in the fridge ever since.
Ok thanks very much. I doubting that my fermentation has finished though as it seems to have built up pressure in the bucket, but I'm thinking that once it's in the carbouy (with a valve on top, I'll just leave it for a month or so too settle/finish and then give it a try.

I thought that I might try to sparkle it a bit, but don't quite follow the bit about the corn sugar addition mentioned in the recipe?? To the main mix ? or directly into the bottle ??

As for bottling it and then refridgerating, bloody hell, 5 gallons worth of bottles in the fridge and Clare, my partner, would "go through the roof"

Nah! I suspect it would be safer for my "domestic arrangements" to store/age it in bulk

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Old 07-07-2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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The corn sugar should have been added to the boil.

Let it sit in the secondary for about 1.5-2 months.

Depending on how much ginger you used will determine how long it needs to age to remove the ginger bite and replace it with a nice mellow flavor.

Depending on which yeast you used, the mead will be either sweet or dry.

You can prime as you would for beer prior to bottling.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:12 PM   #5
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Default What am I doing wrong ???

Ok, so I didn't get round to racking it off. I've got a week off work now so I thought I'd see how it's doing.

I used a clean baster and removed a small amount - bleeaaaarrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!

I tasted like very weak "normal" mead, with that "medicinal" taste - with the odour of ginger but virtually no ginger taste.

I know that I used "normal" sugar, as I haven't managed to locate any "corn sugar" (maybe it'd be under a different name over here in the UK).

I reviewed the recipe to see if I'd missed anything - no, I'm sure I made it "as per".

Only 7lb of honey does seem a bit low for a total of 19 litres - most of the recipes I've found seem to be about the 4lb to 4.5 litres (1 imperial gallon), so for a "normal" mead recipe I'd be thinking in the region of 16lbs.

Maybe I'm just too impatient - I don't know. I've been trying to make mead for nearly a year now, my first effort won't have aged for 12 months until the end of November and I don't really want to try it yet.

I didn't know what to do next with the Barshack ginger recipe, so I've just put another 3lb of honey and another 6 or so Oz's of ginger in it. Too see what will happen.

This "home brewing lark" is very interesting, but it's very frustrating as well. It seems to take sooooooo long to make anything even vaguely drinkable (or it seems like that to me anyway).

Oh well! Back to the drawing board I suppose.

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fatbloke
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:05 AM   #6
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Normal sugar was definitely NOT the way to go.

Don't know what may have gone wrong, but give it time...time heals a lot of things.

I made a batch on 5 July and put it in the secondary on 22 July. It's been there since. It's getting nice and clear.

I'm on a business trip right now, but it's definitely bottling time when I get home.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:54 AM   #7
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Oh, OK.

So I'll have to presume that the increased relative amount of "normal" sugar, not only has it fermented out to a dryness that might not be expected, but it's also caused the reduced ginger flavour for reasons that I don't follow.

Ah well, I'll let it settle now - I'm not sure if the mix will recommence fermentation with the extra honey I put in or not, but I'm hoping that the extra ginger will add to the "ginger bite".

When the additional ginger has settled, I'll rack it off into a fresh container and then just leave it to age.

It's not that it didn't clear nicely, it did. It's just that the flavour was distinctly lacking in what I was expecting/hoping for.

I'll leave making the next batch until I've tracked down some of this "corn sugar" as it would seem that it's not only the sugar, but a vitally important addition to the flavour. I really want to get this right, as to me, the idea of mead/honey with ginger really does sound an exceptional mix of flavours.

cheers for the pointers HB_99. Much appreciated.

regards

fatbloke
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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You're welcome.

The corn sugar will also ferment out and produce more alcohol.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:10 AM   #9
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Default Corn Sugar

Fatbloke,
Corn sugar is also known as Dextrose at most HBS, although according to Papazian's book The CJOHB it is actually Glucose. I hope that helps
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhawke
Fatbloke,
Corn sugar is also known as Dextrose at most HBS, although according to Papazian's book The CJOHB it is actually Glucose. I hope that helps
Thanks for the pointer Redhawke - I was beginning to wonder where the hell I'd get some without having to use one of the US based online HBS.

From my investigations into home distillation I've noticed that dextrose seems to be "less sugary" than normal (i.e. sucrose) sugar.

I was wondering if "corn sugar" had anything else in it as well as Dextrose i.e. something leftover from the production that might affect flavour, because while using the same amount of sucrose instead of the corn sugar mentioned in the recipe, it does seem to have almost completely wiped out any ginger flavour during the ferment (there was still a reasonable amount of ginger smell, just little to no taste).

One of the reasons that I used the maximum recommended amount of ginger was because of the "ginger bite" flavour (yum yum!). so it's got me wondering.

I'm just hoping that my relevant disappointment in how it's initially turned out will be cured by the addition of extra honey and ginger (it doesn't help that I'm not the most patient of people).

I suspect that when the extra ginger has finally sunk to the bottom of the fermenter, then I'll rack it, give it a quick taste and then just put it under the stairs to age.

All part of the learning curve I suppose.

regards

fatbloke


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